Finishing last place in the American Football Conference (AFC) with a meager 4-12 record in the 2018-19 season, Raiders fans could not have been more disappointed with the season. Not only were they a disappointment on the field, but the controversy of the move to Las Vegas still remained a dagger in the backs of many long-time Raiders fans. After what seemed like the all-time low for the Raiders and fans alike, the team somehow achieved the impossible, signing one of the National Football League’s (NFL) top wide receivers: Antonio Brown.
Though the high profile wide receiver initially appeared to be the glimmer of hope that the struggling team needed, Brown quickly became a downward spiral of off-field distraction and frustration. To kick off this ever growing snowball of disappointment, Brown would be forced to sit out the Raiders’s preseason training camp due to cryotherapy induced frostbite on Brown’s feet. When the Raiders decided to fine Brown for his two absences during the team’s practice, Brown and Raiders General Manager, Matt Mayock, got into a “screaming match,” which, in short, led to Antonio Brown’s inevitable release from the Raiders.
To acquire Brown, the Raiders traded away the third and fifth round picks. Although these late drafts picks may not appear to be all too valuable, the only thing the Raiders got from Antonio Brown was all of his drama and unnecessary distractions.
As the cherry on top, Brown would be signed by the New England Patriots just hours after his release. This pairs what many believe to be the league’s best wide receiver, with the six-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Tom Brady. There have been speculations that Brown purposefully got himself released from the Raiders so he could sign with the Patriots.
In the end, what could have turned out to be a successful year for the Raiders as well as a fitting goodbye to Oakland, ended in what can only be called a complete disaster.